Posted: 3/19/2019 | March 19th, 2019
There are a lot of hostels in Medellín. As “gringo central” for Colombia, you can’t walk five feet without coming across one, with majority located in El Pablado (Gringoland) and Laureles (up-and-coming Gringoland).
In fact, if you look on Hostelworld, you’ll find 93 hostels in this city. That’s a lot of hostels.
I spent close to three weeks in Medellín: first for an extended time over the holidays and then again as I made my way from north to south. Like I do whenever I’m in cities that long, I decided to stay in as many hostels as possible to find out which were the best.
A lot of online lists purport to tell you the best hostels in the city, but I found that my experiences staying in them differed so greatly from the reviews, I began to think, “Ya know, I don’t think people really stayed here!”
So, after spending three weeks there and moving every other day, here is my list of my favorite hostels, based on actual firsthand experience.
The 8 Best Hostels in Medellin
1. Los Patios
This stylish hostel has themed floors inspired by Colombia’s natural surroundings: mountains, jungles, sea, and plains. It’s part of a massive two-building complex that also has a co-working space, a gym, rooftop bars, an organic garden (whose herbs you can use), a Spanish school, and communal kitchens. It was by far my favorite hostel in the entirety of the city. (In fact, I think it is one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in!)
Each dorm bed comes with a privacy curtain, and the private rooms are as comfortable as hotels. The bathrooms were amazing and the beds super comfy — I got some of my best nights’ sleep here. It offers free tea and coffee, great happy hours, amazing parties, and activities like salsa classes and street art tours, plus there are free bike rentals. The staff is also super friendly and welcoming. Overall, this hostel just gets it.
Beds from $17 USD, privates from $50 USD.
2. Hostel Rango Boutique
Hostel Rango is one of the more upscale hostels in the city. The dorm beds are super comfy, though the beds lack privacy curtains. Each bed comes with reading lights, two power sockets, and personal lockers. The bathrooms are nicer than anything I’ve ever seen in a hostel and rival that of a luxury hotel. I mean, that water pressure! That rustic design? So good! I want these bathrooms in my home. Private rooms are also available and come with a few additional touches, like TVs and mini-fridges, but they are as expensive as hotels, so skip them.
I found the open, industrial décor is super fashionable, and the hostel’s restaurant and bar area great for grabbing a meal and a really good professional cocktail (honestly the bar alone is worth visiting). The staff will also help to set you up with activities like food tours and free walking tours.
Beds from $18 USD, privates from $75 USD.
3. Sugar Cane Hostel
German- and Colombian-owned Sugar Cane is small. There are just a few private and dorm rooms on one level. The rooms are impressively clean, although they lack the character of the larger hostels in town. The roof has a common area with a few hammocks as well as the hostel’s kitchen. Breakfast is free (you serve yourself) and comes with all the essentials, like bread, eggs, muesli, coffee, and tea. Every Sunday the German owner (I forget his name) cooks up his famous barbecue of chicken, steak, sausages, and all the fixings! It’s a pretty standard, simple hostel, but the owner really makes you feel like family, and he helped me a lot during my stay.
Beds from $10 USD, private rooms from $28 USD.
4. Happy Buddha Boutique Hostel
This is the largest party hostel in Medellín, so if you’re looking to get crazy, this your best bet! The staff works hard to keep people happy (and drunk), including organizing drinking games, salsa classes, and pub crawls. You’ll get free breakfast and coffee in the mornings. The drink are cheap here and there are two on-site restaurants selling sushi and tacos.
Thankfully, the huge bar area is separate from the rooms, so it’s pretty quiet. But the rooms are fairly basic and the beds nothing special — you’ll sleep but won’t be blown away by anything. The real reason to come here is to be in the middle of the party! A lot of pub crawls stop here.
Beds from $10 USD, private rooms from $28 USD.
5. The Wandering Paisa
The Wandering Paisa is located in the upscale area of Laureles, which is the up and coming touristy area. All the dorms are covered in South American and Colombian cultural artwork by local students. Each bed comes with a large locker and a privacy divider, which makes it easier to sleep. While the beds are average, I was a big fan of the nice pillows. The kitchen is has the basic essentials. The Paisa Bar is a fun spot to hang out in, and local musicians perform on the sundeck. The hostel also offers free salsa lessons and Spanish classes. If you want to get out of Poblado, this is the place to stay.
Beds from $8 USD, private rooms from $23 USD.
6. Black Sheep Hostel
The Black Sheep Hostel, one of Medellín’s most popular, was also the first in town. I really loved this hostel. The rooms, while pretty bare, are spotless, and the bathrooms have great water pressure and are cleaned regularly. There are lots of common spaces here, including a large balcony and terrace area. The beer sold is cheap and I found guests here were always socializing and hanging out (the way they should). The Kiwi staff owner is super nice and staff members are all university students that are great at handing out local advice. The hostel also offers a ton of tour options that you can book directly from and they’ll even exchange money if you need. This is another “classic” hostel that gets everything right! I loved it.
Beds from $11 USD, private rooms from $25 USD.
7. Purple Monkey
This is definitely one of the liveliest party hostels in Medellín. It’s quirky and upbeat, with a massive rooftop bar area. I found the dorms to be small and cramped, and it was a bit weird to go upstairs and outside to the shower area, but the place is kept very clean, there’s free breakfast, and you really only come here to party, so who cares about anything else!
Beds from $11 USD.
8. Casa Kiwi Hostel
Casa Kiwi Hostel is another institution and located in the middle of Poblado. The dorms are small and I found the beds to be a little thin, but each bed has a locker, and overall, the building is clean and tidy. There’s a big kitchen with free coffee and tea, but the hostel’s restaurant serves up tasty and cheap food. It also has a rooftop terrace, a plunge pool, a bar, plenty of hammocks, and a mini-theater. As one of the most popular hostels in the city, it’s really easy to meet people here, as it’s always full!
Beds from $11, private rooms from $31 USD.
Two places I would not recommend staying are Monet’s and Selina. Monet’s is new and cheap and has friendly owners, but it’s far from the action, the walls are thin, and the accommodations pretty basic. If you were on a tight, tight budget and everywhere else was full, it would be good for a night. I wouldn’t spend more time there than that.
Selina is a super popular hostel with digital nomads and has locations around the world. It’s always so hyped up that I was pretty excited to stay there. However, I was greatly disappointed with it. It was good spot to work from (they have a co-working space), there are resturants on site, and the bar, though overpriced, was nice place to meet expats and travelers, but the beds were hard, the rooms had little privacy, and the bathrooms weren’t well kept. Given the high premium it charges, I just didn’t see the value in staying there. Better to stay elsewhere and go party at Selina instead! You get more bang for your peso elsewhere.
So there you have it: the best hostels in Medellín based on my recent firsthand experience. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but by far the best, best, BEST hostel in the city is Los Patios. It’s one of the greatest hostels I’ve ever stayed in!
Did we miss any? If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments.
Book Your Trip to Medellin: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!
Looking for more information on visiting Colombia?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to Colombia with more tips on what to see, do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!